How Do You Do It ?

Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States
Lots of people ask me 
 a) how I can afford to travel and 
 b) how I get the time off from work to travel.

 Both are very doable with a lot of planning and a little luck. 

  I plan trips months in advance. This trip was booked in February. My 2010-11 trip to Australia was booked in June 2010. My March 2010 trip to Costa Rica was booked in June 2009. (Hmmm...what is it about planning in June??) The great thing about planning well in advance is that you can usually get great flight deals, AND you can pay for things in bunches. Your flight, when booked via credit card, is due within a month of booking, but hotel bills aren't due until AFTER your trip. Money for food/souvenirs/incidentals you need during the trip. 

How do I save? It depends - sometimes little by little. Once my flight to Australia was booked, I stashed away $50 on every payday as "spending money." It definitely added up! Sometimes I save a large amount all at once. Half of this year's tax return I received in March went toward spending money for this trip. This way I wouldn't have to be scraping up money before leaving. I knew it would be there! 

I earn a decent living, but am not wealthy by any means. I work really hard and I spend money, but am frugal as to where and how I spend it. And the extra money I do have goes toward trips. When items are booked on my credit card, they are ALWAYS paid off. I don't book something that I won't be able to pay for in cash when my bill is due.   

As far as time off from work, it also helps to plan ahead. I'm fortunate in that I can pretty much set my own schedule of events. When I booked this trip back in February, I knew not to book any events/workshops/webinars/anything of importance that week. I get a normal amount of time off, like everyone else - nothing exuberant - but I save/bank a lot of my days. I literally took off TWO days over the summer. So while most people might take a week here and there, I don't. I save that time for my trips, and for the most part, it's worth it.  

I also read/research a lot before booking anything. It helps to travel in the off-season, find out what a "reasonable" airfare should cost, what airlines offer the best deals for that country, and take it from there. When I was researching flights to Australia, I read that flights out of LAX or San Francisco are the best bet, meaning, you are better off booking an in-country flight to one of these places and then booking to Australia. And that's what I did, saving me about $500 in the process.

More than anything, it's about choices. Where do we choose to spend our money? This is what I choose. And to be honest, I have never, ever regretted spending money on a trip. Never. Ever. I can't put a price tag on the scenery I've witnessed, the friendships I've made, the things I've learned and the experiences it has provided me. 

With a little luck and a lot of planning, traveling anywhere is possible, including to Puerto Rico ! 


Photos & Videos



You must be rich.


Yup! :)